Bloat - locked information thread
Talk to your vet about bloat/GDV when you first get your puppy or dog. You should contact a vet first and immediately and not rely on posts such as this if you suspect bloat. This is for basic information purposes only. Please continue to do your own research.
1. What is Bloat? gastric dilatation (stomach “blows up”) What is GDV? Gastric Dilatation + Volvulus (twisting of stomach along with the blowing up)
Bloat can occur with or without "volvulus" (twisting). As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine). The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog. The gastric dilatation is one part of the condition and the volvulus or torsion is the second part. In bloat (dilatation), due to a number of different and sometimes unknown reasons, the stomach fills up with air and puts pressure on the other organs and diaphragm. The pressure on the diaphragm makes it difficult for the dog to breathe. The air-filled stomach also compresses large veins in the abdomen, thus preventing blood from returning to the heart. Filled with air, the stomach can easily rotate on itself, thus pinching off its blood supply. Once this rotation (volvulus) occurs and the blood supply is cut off, the stomach begins to die and the entire blood supply is disrupted and the animal's condition begins to
deteriorate very rapidly.
Not all dogs that have a gas buildup and resultant dilatation develop the more serious and life threatening volvulus. However, almost all dogs that have a volvulus develop it as a result of a dilatation.
2. Be prepared! Know in advance what you would do if your dog bloated.
A. Find out if your vet office does GDV surgery
B. If your regular vet doesn't, know which nearby vet you would use. Keep the phone number handy: _______________________________
C. Always keep a product with simethicone on hand (e.g., Gas-X, Phazyme) in case your dog has gas. If you can reduce or slow the gas, you've probably bought yourself a little more time to
get to a vet if your dog is bloating. Give your dog the gas reducer right away. Talk to your vet about how much to give.
Bloat is an extremely serious condition, and should be considered a life-threatening emergency when it occurs. There are no home remedies for bloat, therefore dog owners must contact their veterinarians immediately if they suspect that their dog has bloat.
Dogs can die of bloat within several hours. Even with treatment, as many as 25-33% of dogs with GDV die.
3. What Kind of Things Make a Dog More Likely to Bloat?
• Breed—including German Shepherds, Great Danes, Bassett Hounds
• Genetics—including depth and width of chest, especially having a first-degree relative who has bloated
• Dogs who have treated/untreated Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) are considered more prone to bloat, gas is associated with incomplete digestion
• Age—7 and older
• Gender—males are twice as likely
• Eating habits—dogs fed 1x/day are twice as likely to develop GDV as those fed twice a day. It appears that dogs who eat rapidly or exercise soon after a meal may also be at increased risk.
• Temperament: Dogs that tend to be more nervous, anxious, or fearful appear to be at an increased risk of developing bloat.